University of Texas of the Permian Basin President Sandra Woodley said she has requested a little more than $3 million from the UT System to renovate the Student Activity Center and offer a one-stop shop for students who need to pay bills or register.
Woodley told about 60 people attending Spaghetti with Sandy at the Student Activity Center that she has asked Chartwells, the university’s food service company, about getting a Chick-fil-A in the building. She also would like to have the food service stay open later at the SAC and has asked Chartwells to offer vending machines with more substantial items than candy bars when Starbucks is closed that way students can hang out, study and watch TV with friends.
In addition, Woodley said she has talked for the past two months about a campus transformation project and plans to bring in architects to formulate a facilities master plan.
Woodley said the quad doesn’t get used as much as it could because it has grass burs and there is no shade or a comfortable place to sit outside the Student Activity Center.
She said she would also like to renovate the lobby of the Mesa Building to create a welcome center so people can get their questions answered and create better way-finding signs so people know where to go.
Woodley added that she would like to grow the amenities offered and ensure that students have clubs. Students also are concerned about security, so she would like to make sure that the parking lot lights stay on longer. She said a proposed tuition and fees increase that regents will vote on in March could fund some of the items on her list.
Woodley added that she is looking for student input on campus transformation plans. She said the students’ list is surprisingly similar to hers. Examples are beautifying the campus, having functional spaces for the students to study longer and making sure that the food is good.
Students who are of age have also asked about being able to drink on campus under certain conditions and at events. Woodley said the police department has made a recommendation for that, as well, for safety.
She said there have been instances where students have declined to call police because if they were robbed, for example, because they had been drinking and there is a no-tolerance policy for alcohol on campus.
“We’ll work through that. Generally, I think we need to allow opportunities for adults to be responsible. That’s my own personal opinion. It’s going through the vetting process. I’ll make a decision on that pretty soon,” Woodley said. “Along the same vein, I think we ought to have opportunities for pets on campus in some of the dorms. …”
Student Senate member Jasmine Nelson has been to several of the forums with the president.
“I get to hear the issues from a more personal aspect in the Senate. I also like to see that the rest of the student body is interacting and trying to get more information about what’s going on on campus,” Nelson said.